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Basic Instinct (1992)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller  |  20 March 1992 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 120,335 users   Metascore: 41/100
Reviews: 288 user | 115 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

A police detective is in charge of the investigation of a brutal murder, in which a beautiful and seductive woman could be involved.

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Title: Basic Instinct (1992)

Basic Instinct (1992) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lieutenant Nilsen (as Daniel Von Bargen)
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Dr. Lamott
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Bill Cable ...
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Storyline

A former rock star, Johnny Boz, is brutally killed during sex, and the case is assigned to detective Nick Curran of the SFPD. During the investigation, Nick meets Catherine Tramell, a crime novelist who was Boz's girlfriend when he died. Catherine proves to be a very clever and manipulative woman, and though Nick is more or less convinced that she murdered Boz, he is unable to find any evidence. Later, when Nilsen, Nick's rival in the police, is killed, Nick suspects of Catherine's involvement in it. He then starts to play a dangerous lust-filled mind game with Catherine to nail her, but as their relationship progresses, the body count rises and contradicting evidences force Nick to start questioning his own suspicions about Catherine's guilt. Written by Soumitra

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Flesh seduces. Passion kills. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and sensuality, and for drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

20 March 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Love Hurts  »

Box Office

Budget:

$49,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$117,727,224 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

| (France)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Sharon Stone, director Paul Verhoeven asked her to remove her underwear for the leg-crossing scene, as he said they were too bright and reflected at the camera. Stone agreed to do so under the assumption that her genitals weren't visible. It was only at an early preview that Stone discovered Verhoeven chose to use this specific shot. Stone was mainly cross with Verhoeven for not discussing the matter with her beforehand, but decided to let the scene go without changes, as she felt this conformed with her movie character. However, Verhoeven's version of the conflict is that he told Stone beforehand about the leg-crossing shot, as it was important for showing Catherine Tramell's free-spirited nature and her constant drive to toy with people. Stone was reportedly excited about the idea and shot the scene. However, during the early preview, her agents supposedly disproved of the scene, fearing it would harm her future career. According to Verhoeven, Stone radically changed her mind about the shot and demanded that he remove it, which he ultimately refused. See more »

Goofs

When Nick gets up from bed, the scratches on his back are barely visible. When you see his back reflected in the mirror when he speaks with Roxy, the marks are bright red, bloody. When he returns to bed, they're the way they were in the previous scene. See more »

Quotes

Nick: Let me ask you something, Rocky, man to man. I think she's the fuck of the century, what do you think?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Free Enterprise (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Looking For The Summer
Written and Performed by Chris Rea
Courtesy of ATCO Records / Warner Music U.K. Ltd.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Thriller which achieves screen magic of the golden age.
27 September 2001 | by (Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

Paul Verhoeven has created a masterwork from Joe Eszterhas' controversial script. Several sex scenes become a leitmotif, as the participants appear to pummel, rather than love, one another with their nether parts. But the most rugged and the most erotic scene occurs between Detective Nick Curran, Michael Douglas, and his colleague, Beth Garner, portrayed by Jeanne Tripplehorn. He throws her against a wall and then against the back of a chesterfield. That is only the foreplay. In this film sex is violence, and that is Verhoeven's theme.

But there is more. Sharon Stone as Catherine Tramell has a beautiful blonde form in that Beach Boy / California girl manner. She plays her 'flashing' scene in the police interrogation room with wit and a touch of class. Throughout the film she is arch, intelligent, electric. Her foil, Nick Curran, a troubled detective, realizes she might be a murderer, but finds her personality and her allure, irresistible. Douglas' performance is driven, masculine, affecting ... yet he would be well advised to keep his trousers on henceforth, for his sagging bottom is simply too comical.

There are several echoes of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (58). Both pictures have as a setting the picturesque San Francisco area. Jerry Goldsmith's music recalls Bernard Herrmann's symphonic score. The stairwell in Curran's apartment building resembles the vertiginous staircase of the Mission bell tower. And as with Hitchcock the dialogue is often simultaneously risque and humorous, although more vulgar in keeping with the tenor of modern times.

Eszterhas' script is carefully crafted, and it does not cheat. Life proves ambiguous at many levels, and so does art. The mystery is dark; the action, including a car chase, thrills; and the locale continually shifts, from a cop station to Catherine's lovely seaside house to a colorful bar where Catherine's jealous female lover and Curran engage in a sensual battle for her charms.

Day, night, sun, rain, streets, highways, scenery, ocean, sex, emotion, confrontations, death ... the film envelops everything, perhaps even love. Here, Verhoeven, Eszterhas, Douglas, Stone, have achieved some screen magic of the past.


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